County OKs match for Human Services

A number of programs proposed by Human Services as necessary received the backing of the Warren County Commissioners in the form of a match of $173,000 at their meeting Wednesday morning.

The commissioners approved a $173,365 match for Human Services needed to obtain a total of $3.4 million in funding from the state for non-children and youth programs in the county, such as recovery assistance to help residents get to medical appointments, homeless assistance, and an emergency shelter.

Human Services Director Mary Kushner told the commissioners the services were identified through interviews in the community.

“We have to do a needs assessment within the community, and so we have mental health advisory groups, consumer advisory groups…we meet with a lot of different communities through the criminal justice board and we see the needs of the community and that’s what we request funding for,” she said.

A total match amount for the county for all services of Human Services is expected to be proposed to the commissioners during their next meeting, Kushner said.

She added that new requirements by the state for children and youth services include school investigations and all abuses are to be reviewed by the county solicitor.

The Human Services plan is the first part to be submitted, she said, and the county match is needed to obtain the state funding for the programs.

Commissioner Chairman Stephen Vanco said he expects the county to absorb the additional wage costs for the requirements.

The proposal for funding marks the beginning of the county budget season, Commissioner John Bortz said.

“Our budget season is upon us,” he said.

Commissioner John Eggleston said the new requirements established by the state after the Jerry Sandusky case require more time from caseworkers and administrative staff and “we just don’t know what those things are going to cost” until the programs have been running for a couple of years.

The commissioners also approved a four-year, $550 a year agreement with Runbeck for a software license on the ballot on demand printer .